Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Lambing season ... and more spring photos

Of course, it's lambing season here in Gluepot Road, and the fields are full of them. The photo below was taken from our verandah early yesterday morning, at the start of what was forecast to be a rainy day, but turned out to be lovely sunny and warm.

Our neighbour's paddock at the front, i.e. at the end of our lawn, now has half a dozen ewes which produced triplets, although in a couple of cases one of the lambs did not survive. Included in the latter is "Rowdy", who the girls raised three or four years ago, after she was orphaned. We gave her back to Alan (the neighbour) after she was wened, but that didn't stop her returning to demolish our flower beds periodically, until Alan banished her to a distant paddock. Well, the girls are very pleased to see her back again, especially since she has two lambs of her own! Unfortunately I haven't been able to locate a photo of "Rowdy" then, and those that I took of her yesterday didn't turn out very well, so you'll have to wait for that.

On Saturday afternoon we attended what's called locally a roof-shout, at the Hodges. There is a tradition here when a building is completed, the builders are "shouted" fish and chips and a beer or two. As there were only three of us building - Peter, Jerry and myself - this meant that there weren't very many of us at the roof-shout, but the food was good, and Camilla and Louise helped Gill to make an appropriate cake, which was received very well.

Last week was fairly quiet at the school - term is coming to an end - which has given me an opportunity to enjoy the lovely spring weather, and take some photos in the garden, which I can now share with you. I'll try to leave out the ones that show the rampant growth of weeds, already threatening to overpower us because of the warm weather. This reminds me that I need to get out the knapsack sprayer and do some herciding of the blackberry again. This cyclamen is one that we've had on the kitchen window sill for about four years, although it spends each summer "resting" in the garden shed. It always produces an impressive winter display.

We've had a Meyer lemon tree in a pot on our verandah for about two years now, and while it usually has good crops of lemons several times a year, it hasn't grown much and I think we may have to move it to a larger pot soon.

We were given this camellia a couple of years ago by one of Gill's workmates, and had to transplant it from a pot in her garden into the ground in our garden. A pretty hard task as it wasn't small, and I think the Venter trailer fared better than I did! The camellia, however, hasn't done badly at all, and this spring has produced quite a good display of flowers.

We have three kowhai - the word also means "yellow" in Maori - trees in the garden, and they're all in flower now, which attracts the tuis. I haven't managed to get a decent photo of a tui yet, but it is black and looks rather like a starling, with a tuft of white feathers at it's throat. When they flower, the couple of dozen flax plants - three different varieties, I think - that we've planted on the bank on the Gluepot Road side of our house also attract the tuis, and an occasional bellbird.

The herb garden which Gill and I spent some time planting last spring on the south side of the house (outside the kitchen) has yet to revive after the ravages of winter, but elsewhere the self-seeded borage is flowering profusely.

More in due course ...


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